Former Vice President Joe Biden defeated Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) Tuesday night in Minnesota’s Democratic primary, a shocking upset in what was a tough night for the Vermont socialist.
With 91 percent of precincts reporting, Biden was leading Sanders 38 percent to 30 percent. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) came in third place with 15 percent followed by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) at five percent.
Sanders won Minnesota in 2016 over Hillary Clinton but failed to clinch a repeat Tuesday night despite the endorsements of Attorney General Keith Ellison and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05), who stumped for Sanders at a rally Monday night in downtown St. Paul.
Apparently, the last-minute endorsement from Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), who suspended her campaign Monday, proved more influential and confirmed her political power in the state.
“Congrats to Joe Biden on a great night, including his victory in Minnesota! As I said last night, Joe will bring our party together and built a strong coalition to unite this country. And he will win big in November,” Klobuchar wrote on Twitter.
Congrats to @JoeBiden on a great night, including his victory in Minnesota!
As I said last night, Joe will bring our party together and build a strong coalition to unite this country. And he will win big in November!
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) March 4, 2020
Exit polls showed that 55 percent of Biden voters in the state made up their minds on a candidate in the last few days, compared to 21 percent of Sanders voters.
Omar blamed Sanders’ loss in the state on the failure of progressives to consolidate around one candidate like the moderates of the party did.
“That’s what we should be analyzing. I feel confident a united progressive movement would have allowed for us to build together and win Minnesota and other states we narrowly lost, ” she said.
Imagine if the progressives consolidated last night like the moderates consolidated, who would have won?
That’s what we should be analyzing. I feel confident a united progressive movement would have allowed for us to #BuildTogether and win MN and other states we narrowly lost. https://t.co/lAj2mhI3GR
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) March 4, 2020
Corey Day, the Minnesota director for Biden’s campaign, acknowledged when speaking with reporters that without Klobuchar’s support “we could never have gotten to this place.” He said Klobuchar’s team was “extremely helpful” Tuesday with get-out-the-vote efforts.
Perhaps most shockingly, Biden managed to win Hennepin County – where both Minneapolis and parts Omar’s congressional district are located.
Biden tweeted his thanks to Minnesota after the Associated Press called the race in his favor around 9:30 p.m. CT.
Thank you, Minnesota! https://t.co/BqKfvLOJDy
— Joe Biden (Text Join to 30330) (@JoeBiden) March 4, 2020
Minnesota has a total of 75 delegates in play, and a full breakdown of how they will be divided between the candidates can be viewed on the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party’s website.
“There are lots of reasons a Minnesota win would be big for Biden. It was a great Sanders state in 2016 – albeit in a caucus rather than a primary. It would be an upset. It has a decent number of delegates. And perhaps most importantly, it would show he can win in the Midwest, which would bode well for how he might do in later states like Michigan and Wisconsin,” commented Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.
Preya Samsundar, a spokesperson for the Republican National Committee, said Biden “may think this victory will help him grab the Democrat nomination, but Minnesotans aren’t interested in the Democrats’ socialist agenda.”
“Having seen the growth, opportunity, and prosperity their families have seen thanks to President Trump’s administration, Minnesotans will gladly say ‘yes’ to four more years in November,” she said.
Rob Doar, the director of the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus, called Klobuchar a “genius” for dropping out of the race the day before the Minnesota primary.
“Instead of being humiliated in her home state, she’s now being credited with delivering Minnesota to Joe. Brilliant,” he said.
@amyklobuchar is a genius.
She was going to lose today.
Instead of being humiliated in her home state, she's now being credited with delivering MN to Joe.
— Rob Doar (@robdoar) March 4, 2020
A total of 14 states and one U.S. territory went to the polls for Super Tuesday voting. A third of all delegates were awarded Tuesday night, making it the most consequential night of the 2020 election thus far.
Biden claimed early victories in Virginia, North Carolina, and Alabama while Sanders picked up his home state of Vermont. Biden went on to claim victories in Tennessee, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Massachusetts while Sanders won in Colorado and Utah.
The saving grace of the night for Sanders was his projected victory in California, which offered the biggest prize of the night with 415 delegates up for grabs.
Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg failed to win a single contest apart from American Samoa, despite the fact that he has spent half a billion dollars on his campaign. That made him President Donald Trump’s “biggest loser” of the night.
“The biggest loser tonight, by far, is Mini Mike Bloomberg. His ‘political’ consultants took him for a ride. $700 million washed down the drain, and he got nothing for it but the nickname Mini Mike, and the complete destruction of his reputation. Way to go Mike,” President Trump said on Twitter.
The biggest loser tonight, by far, is Mini Mike Bloomberg. His “political” consultants took him for a ride. $700 million washed down the drain, and he got nothing for it but the nickname Mini Mike, and the complete destruction of his reputation. Way to go Mike!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2020
Reports emerged Tuesday evening that Bloomberg planned to “reassess” his campaign Wednesday after a disappointing performance.
Sanders and Biden were in a dead heat in Texas late Tuesday night, separated by a little more than a percentage point with 64 percent of precincts reporting. The state has the second most delegates up for grabs of the Super Tuesday states with 228 delegates available.
A candidate needs to reach 1,991 pledged delegates in order to secure the Democratic nomination. Tuesday’s 15 contests had a total of 1,357 delegates up for grabs out of 3,979 pledged delegates. For comparison, the four early states that voted prior to Super Tuesday – Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina – had a combined 155 delegates at stake.
President Trump easily won the Republican primaries in all 14 Super Tuesday states and tweeted his thanks to each state on Twitter.
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Joe Biden” and “Bernie Sanders” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.